Lions Sands Ivory Lodge: Lavish Comfort in the African Bushveld

Garrin Evan

Known as one of the most exclusive safari lodges in Africa and one of the world’s best honeymoon resorts in the world, the Lions Sands Ivory Lodge is a one of a kind luxury resort offering lavish comforts in the African Bushveld.

If you find yourself at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, consider yourself among the elite few to have ever had the privilege or experience. Lion Sands is a private game reserve set inside South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Kruger National Park. This is Big Five country – that’s lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants, and Cape buffaloes, for the uninitiated – and Lion Sands protects more than 5,000 hectares of it. 

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As for who else populates this land, it’s far more animals than humans. Lion Sands features four luxury lodges scattered across the reserve. Tucked away at the confluence of the Sabie and Sand rivers is Ivory Lodge, the flagship of the collection. After a recent renovation, it’s looking better than ever. In fact, the lodge has been called one of the most exclusive safari lodges in Africa and one of the world’s best honeymoon resorts by the Luxury Travel Expert. See? You’re one of the lucky ones.

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Guests at Ivory Lodge are given their own secluded slice of South Africa. The eight one-bedroom villas are elegant and contemporary, made with concrete, glass and wood that blends into the surroundings. Each villa comes with a private plunge pool and relaxation area. If that’s not enough privacy for your liking, the two-bedroom Fish Eagle Villa features a private spa and gym, as well as a personal chef, field guide and private safari vehicle.

If you don’t have a private chef, it will still feel like you do. All your favorite drinks and snacks will come stocked in your villa’s minibar (or maxibar, as it’s called here). Meals and drinks are included in the rate, so you’ll feel free to order whatever you wish. Chefs are there to cater to your every whim (that includes dietary restrictions), making delicious gourmet meals with fresh local ingredients.

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Where you dine is another adventure. Staff will arrange your meals wherever you wish. Dine on your terrace, under a mahogany tree, or beneath the stars, surrounded by African dancers and drums. If you can’t decide, they’re always happy to surprise you.

Of course, even more wonders await when you step off property. Ivory Lodge is surrounded by some of South Africa’s best game viewing. Guests will have ample opportunity for game drives in open Land Rovers, as well as bush walks with expert guides. In addition to the Big Five, guests might spot cheetah, wild dog, zebra, or any of the 500 bird species that frequent the reserve.

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After a long morning of game drives, the wilderness spa is just what the doctor ordered. A revitalizing massage will leave you refreshed and ready to take on the bush. Or, skip the game drive to relax in your plunge pool with a glass of Champagne. With views of the river, you might spot a baby elephant bathing or a zebra having a drink or a baby just meters away.

Travelers seeking a real adventure are invited to stay in one of the lodge’s incredible treehouses (at additional cost). Set miles away from the lodge, the open-air treehouses offer uninterrupted views of the open savannah. Guests come at sunset for a picnic dinner, watch the animals at dusk and sleep on a plush bed underneath the stars (and underneath a mosquito net). The treehouses come with a bathroom, double shower and twin vanities. It doesn’t get more idyllic than that.

Getting There

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is a 20-minute drive from the Skukuza Airstrip or a 30-minute drive from Mala Mala Airport. Both airports offer frequent flights from Johannesburg.


Rates vary throughout the year. A one-bedroom villa starts at R20,570.00 per person per night in double occupancy, or R30,855.00 per person per night single occupancy. 

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